The Virginia Opera Company is making its debut at Virginia Beach’s Sandler Center with a real surprise – a brilliant, inventive new staging of “Camelot.”
As a large-scale musical, Lerner and Loewe’s “Camelot” can get lost in the pomp and pageantry of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table. Though an instant hit when it opened on Broadway in 1960, the production was heavy with dialogue and ran for more than four hours.
It first appeared on Broadway more than 50 years ago with the star power of Julie Andrews, Richard Burton and Robert Goulet, setting the story of the legendary King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table to music.
Gary Thor Wedow enjoys a wonderfully eclectic repertoire that ranges from early music to fresh off the press. A faculty member at the Juilliard School of Music, he balances teaching with opera and choral engagements. This month, he conducts the Virginia Opera’s production of “Die Fledermaus,” performed at its Norfolk, Richmond and Fairfax venues.
Opera fans are in for a real treat this weekend when the Virginia Opera performs “Die Fledermaus” (The Bat) at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts at 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2.
In her program notes for “Die Fledermaus,” director Dorothy Danner compares the giddy goings-on in Johann Strauss II’s perennially popular 1874 operetta to “dancing on the deck of the Titanic.”
“Die Fledermaus,” the operetta by Johann Strauss II, began its long life as a satirical celebration of the flirtatious, wine-soaked, waltz-timed frivolity of late 19th-century Habsburg Vienna. That world and its manners and mores are so long-gone that what was satire now comes across as situation comedy.
Just as daylight saving time went off and left us in the dark, and grim superstorm damage led the news for days, Virginia Opera brought us the welcome lightness and good cheer of their current production of Die Fledermaus at the Harrison Opera House November 10. It really is not to be missed!
Start out right, with Die Fledermaus, as produced by the Virginia Opera. Light hearted, free-wheeling and fast paced, under the stage direction of reliably inventive Dorothy Danner, with music by the waltz king Johann Strauss II, Die Fledermaus should be the perfect first opera for folks who have never attended one.
Saturday evening, the Virginia Opera brought back to the Harrison Opera House one of the most popular operettas, “Die Fledermaus” by Johann Strauss II. With all singing and dialogue in English, the large audience could follow every detail of the comical text.